A nurse leader, educator, scientist and nationally recognized expert in gerontological nursing and rural health care, Heather M. Young is a professor and dean emerita for the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis. She is currently on sabbatical after serving a decade as founding dean, from 2008 to 2018. She returns to the office in August 2019.
Dr. Young’s research and clinical interest is the promotion of healthy aging with a particular focus on the interface between family and formal health-care systems. She played an instrumental role in shaping long-term care policies in Washington state and beyond through her research. In addition, she conducted several longitudinal studies of family caregiving in the context of cognitive decline.
Her previous research focused on medication management and safety in rural, assisted-living settings, technological approaches to promoting medication safety in rural hospitals. Her current research includes the use of telehealth and community-based strategies to promote health for rural older adults. Dr. Young also collaborates on a number of interdisciplinary projects, including the Initiative for Wireless Health and Wellness at UC Davis, a project involving faculty from nursing, medicine, engineering and the Center for Information Technology Research for the Interest of Society (CITRIS). She is co-director of the Latino Aging Research Resource Center.
She serves at both the national and state levels in supporting the implementation of the recommenda¬tions of the landmark Institute of Medicine report, “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health.” She serves on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Strategic Advisory Committee that guides the national campaign as well as the California Action Coalition executive committee, which leads the statewide activities.
Dr. Young is a UC Davis alumna, graduating in 1981 with a bachelor’s degree in dietetics. She later earned an associate degree in nursing from Sacramento City College and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Southern Oregon State College. She then went on to the University of Washington, where she earned a Master of Science in Nursing degree with a specialty in gerontology and a doctorate in nursing science.
In addition to her extensive academic and research background, Dr. Young also has experience as a hospital nurse practicing in critical care and as a nurse practitioner in community-based long-term care. Previously, Dr. Young directed the John A. Hartford Center for Geriatric Nursing Excellence at Oregon Health and Science University and, prior to that, Dr. Young held a joint appointment on faculty at the University Of Washington School Of Nursing and as the chief operations officer for a retirement community company.